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Traditional Festivals


A Glimpse of Traditional Chinese Culture Traditional Festivals Dragon Boat Festival The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Traditional Festivals

A Glimpse of Traditional Chinese Culture
  • Traditional Festivals

Chinese Major Traditional Festivals
  • Origin of Traditional Festivals
  • Spring Festival
  • Lantern Festival
  • Qingming Festival/ Tomb-sweeping Festival
  • Dragon Boat Festival
  • Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Double Ninth Festival.

Warm-up Activities
  • 1. A list of Chinese Traditional Festivals
  • 2. The Origin of Chinese Traditional Festivals

1. Fill in the following table about Traditional
Chinese Festivals.
Festivals Date Food/activities
1st day of the 1st lunar month
light lanterns, yuanxiao (rice dumplings)
April 4-6(solar)
Pyramid rice dumplings, dragon boat race
Mid-Autumn Festival
Traditional Chinese Festivals
Festivals Date Food/activities
The Spring Festival 1st day of the 1st lunar month Dumplings /family feast Paste couplets
The Lantern Festival 15th day of the 1st lunar month light lanterns, yuanxiao (rice dumplings)
Tomb Sweeping Day (Pure Bright Festival ) April 4-6(solar) Sweep tombs/ mourn the dead
The Dragon Boat Festival 5th day of the 5th lunar month Pyramid rice dumplings, dragon boat race
Mid-Autumn Festival 15th day of the 8th lunar month Moon cake
Warm-up Activities
  • 2. The Origin of Traditional Chinese Festival
  • Traditional Chinese festivals has been scheduled
    according to the traditional Chinese calendric
    (kæ lendrik ???,???)system.

The traditional Chinese Calendric System
  • The traditional Chinese calendric system is a
    combination of the solar system and the lunar
    system, which is known as nongli, the
    agricultural calendar. The basic principle of
    nongli is, a month is a period as long as a
    complete moon change cycle, and a year is a
    period approximately as long as a solar year.
    Whenever necessary, a leap month is added.
    According to this system, 24 jieqi (24 seasonal
    periods or solar terms indicating the obvious
    changes of weather when they come around) are
    designed to guide agricultural activities, so the
    system is commonly known as the agricultural
    calendar(??), and it is also known as zhong
    calendar(??), summer calendar(??) and lunar

The traditional Chinese Calendric System
  • Generally speaking, the ancient Chinese calendar
    divides a year into four seasons(?), 24
    jieqi(??), 72 hou(?), 360 days(?). To be more
    specific, a day consists of 12 double hours
    (shichen??) five days make up a hou, so there
    are 72 hou in a year three hou make up a jieqi,
    so a year has 24 jieqi two jieqi make up a
    month, so a year has 12 months three months make
    up a season, and four seasons make up a year. The
    four seasons, the eight jieqi, the Heavenly
    Stems(??) and the Earthly Branches(??) are all
    important factors in the forming of Chinese

The traditional Chinese Calendric System
  • The four seasons refer to spring, summer, autumn
    and winter. According to the lunar calendar, the
    first three months make up spring, the next three
    summer, the following three autumn, and the last
    three winter. Each season is subdivided into
    three equally long periods, namely early (meng?),
    middle (zhong?) and late (ji?). For instance,
    early spring refers to the first month, middle
    spring the second month, and late spring the
    third month.

The traditional Chinese Calendric System
  • The first eight jieqi refer to the earliest
    designated and the most important eight seasonal
    periods. Since ancient times, China has always
    attached great importance to seasonal timing,
    which is closely related to agricultural
    activities. As early as in the Zhou Dynasty, the
    first eight jieqi were defined, namely, the
    Beginning of Spring, the Spring Equinox(??), the
    Beginning of Summer, the Summer Solstice(??), the
    Beginning of Autumn, the Autumn Equinox, the
    Beginning of Winter and the Winter Solstice.
    During the Qin Dynasty, all 24 jieqi were defined.

The traditional Chinese Calendric System
  • Whenever two jieqi meet, a festival comes. Along
    with the designation of 24 jieqi, many festivals
    came into being. Up till now, there are still
    some festivals closely related to jieqi, for
    example, people now still celebrate the Beginning
    of Summer, the Summer Solstice, the Beginning of
    Winter and the Winter Solstice. Today some
    jieqi-related festivals have evolved into
    traditional festivals.

??(24 seasonal periods or solar terms)
Spring Festival
  • Chinas most important festival falls on the 1st
    day of the 1st lunar month each year. Family
    members gather just as they do for Christmas in
    the West.
  • In fact, with so many people returning home, it
    is the busiest time for transportation systems.

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Its Origin
  • Spring Festival is also called guonian, which
    means keeping the monster Nian away. There are
    many legends about the origin of Nian. A popular
    legend from ancient times described Nian as a
    fierce monster resembling a bull with a lions
    head. During winter, when food was scarce Nian
    would leave his mountain lair (??) to eat local
    villagers or drive them from their homes.

Tell the Story of Nian (student)
Preliminary Year (Xiaonian )
  • The 23rd day of the 12th lunar month is
    Preliminary Year. Sacrifices are offered to the
    Kitchen God with families sharing delicious food
    followed by preparations for the coming Spring

  • Foods, decorations, new clothes and shoes for
    children as well as gifts for the elderly,
    friends and relatives are prepared. Houses are
    thoroughly cleaned.

Spring Festival Couplets
  • These are Chinese good luck proverbs on red
    paper, often with golden trimming and are usually
    about happiness, wealth, longevity , and a
    satisfactory marriage, including more children.

Spring Festival Eve
  • Houses are brightly lit and a large sumptuous
    family dinner is served.

  • Dishes such as chicken, fish and tofu must be
    included, for in Chinese, their pronunciations,
    respectively Ji, yu and doufu, mean auspicious,
    abundant and blessed.

  • Niangao means higher and higher, one year after
  • Jiaozi, or dumpling, means bidding farewell to
    the old and ushering in the new (????)

The Spring Festival Gala
  • In recent years, the Spring Festival Gala,
    broadcast on China Central Television Station
    (CCTV), lasting 5 to 6 hours has been an
    essential entertainment for the Chinese both at
    home and abroad.

New Year
  • During the first five days of the Spring
    Festival, relatives, friends, classmates and
    colleagues exchange greetings and gifts by
    visiting, calling or sending messages. Telephones
    lines and cables are busily engaged on these

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Lantern Festival
  • The Lantern Festival, celebrated on the 15th day
    of the first lunar month, is closely related to
    the Spring Festival. It marks the end of the New
    Year celebrations, following which life returns
    to normal. The most prominent activity of the
    Lantern Festival is the grand display of
    beautiful lanterns.

Guessing Riddles
  • Guessing riddles pasted onto lanterns is a
    Lantern Festival tradition from the Song Dynasty.
    Visitors who solve a riddle may get prizes.

  • Also called tangyuan. They are small dumpling
    balls made of glutinous rice flour with sesame
    (??), bean paste, jujube paste (??), walnut meat
    (???), dried fruit, or sugar and edible oil as
    filling. What's more, tangyuan in Chinese has a
    similar pronunciation to tuanyuan, meaning

Qingming Festival
  • The Qingming Festival (or Pure Brightness
    Festival) is a day for mourning (??) the dead. It
    is one of the 24 seasonal division points
    (???????) in the lunar calendar, falling on April
    4th-6th each year. After the festival, the
    temperature rises and rainfall increases in
    readiness for spring plowing (??) and sowing.

Hanshi Day (??)
  • ? ?
  • ???
  • ???????,
  • ???????? ???????,
  • ????????
  • Hanshi Day (or Cold Food Day) is the day before
    Qingming Festival, when no fire or smoke is
    allowed and people only eat cold food.

Tell the Story of Jie Zitui
A Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival
  • Zhang Zeduan (???) of the Song Dynasty produced
    one of Chinas most famous works of art A
    Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival.
  • There are more than 500 people in the painting,
    as well as scores of (??) different animals,
    carriages and sedan chairs (??), and bridges and
    boats. It is a vivid record of the festivities
    and hustle and bustle (????) of the Qingming

(No Transcript)
Dragon Boat Festival
  • The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 5th day of
    the 5th lunar month.

Tell the Story of Its Origin (student)
Dragon Boat Racing
  • Dragon Boat Racing Competition is an
    indispensable part of the festival, held all over
    the country. Teams in dragon-shaped boats row in
    time to the beat of rapid drums.

Mid-Autumn Festival
  • The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of
    the 8th lunar month, usually in October.
  • The round shape to a Chinese means family
    reunion, therefore the Mid-Autumn Festival is
    most romanticized in China as a day of family
    reunion and a festival with friends.

Tell the Story of Its Origin (student)
Appreciation of Some Famous Lines
  • I raised my head, the splendid moon I see Then
    droop my head and sink to dreams of my hometown.
    (?????, ?????)
  • My one wish for you, then , is long life And a
    share in this loveliness(the moon) far, far away.
    (?????, ?????)

Double Ninth Festival
  • The Double Ninth Festival or Chongyang Festival
    is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th lunar
    month. It usually falls in October.
  • Double Ninth Festival can also be called Height
    Ascending Festival (???) when people customarily
    climb mountains or towers, bringing along
    chrysanthemum wine (???).

Tell the Story of Its Origin (student)
Double Ninth Festival
  • In 1989, the Chinese government designated (??)
    Double Ninth Festival as Seniors' Day (???) as
    nine is the highest odd number and two nines are
    taken to signify longevity. Since then, the
    Double Ninth Festival has become a day of loving
    and respecting the aged nationwide.

Other traditional festivals
  • Double Seventh Festival
  • Laba (??) and the Eight-Treasure Porridge

Double Seventh Festival
  • The Double Seventh Festival, on the 7th day of
    the 7th lunar month, is a traditional festival
    full of romance. It often falls on a day in
  • It has been regarded as Chinas Valentine's Day.

Tell the Story of the Legend of the Cowherd and
Weaver Maid (student)
Laba and the Eight-Treasure Porridge
  • Laba is celebrated on the 8th day of the 12th
    lunar month. The 12th lunar month is called the
    La month, which means a world of ice and snow. Ba
    means eight. The 8th day of that month was
    considered a day for making sacrifices to gods
    and ancestors to ensure a peaceful life and a
    good harvest in the next year.

Laba Porridge
  • Also called the Eight-Treasure Porridge.
  • The main materials usually consist of beans like
    red beans, mung beans (??), cowpeas (??),
    haricots (??), peas and broad beans, and grain
    like rice, millet (??), polished round-grained
    rice, glutinous rice, wheat, oat, corn and
    broomcorn (??).

Ethnic Festivals
  • China is a multi-ethnic country where festivals
    and celebrations vary from one ethnic group to

Water Splashing Festival
  • Water Splashing Festival is the Dais New Year,
    as well as the most important traditional
    festival observed by the Dai people in Chinas
    Yunnan province.

Nadam Fair
  • Nadam Fair is a traditional festival observed by
    the Mongolian people who inhabit Inner Mongolia,
    Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
  • The festival is celebrated in July or August when
    the pastures have plenty of water, lush grass,
    thriving herds, and fine weather. The festive
    celebration lasts for one to eight days.

Torch Festival
  • Torch Festival is a traditional festival of the
    Yi, Bai, Lisu, Naxi, and some other ethinic
    groups inhabiting southwest China. It falls
    around the 24th of the 6th lunar month.

Translation ??
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  • People in different parts of China have different
    ways to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. But
    one traditional custom has definitely been shared
    by all the Chinese. This is eating moon cakes.
    The moon cake is the ubiquitous fare at any
    celebration of this traditional festival, not
    only because of its delicious and sweet taste,
    but also for the cultural and artistic
    connotation. The moon cake symbolizes the
    reunions of families. The exchange of gifts
    during the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the
    hospitable customs. Nowadays, moon cakes with
    their various flavors and delicate packaging
    actually have become a kind of artwork.. People
    can also get artistic pleasure while enjoying the

  • Why do you think young people in China are
    increasingly interested in celebrating some
    western festivals nowadays?

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